Rarely do I meet anybody who is completely satisfied with their home Wi-Fi. For all the technological developments we have made since the days when getting on the internet meant sitting through a dial-up connection, home services are often lacking. Not a single top internet provider among Optimum, CenturyLink, AT&T T, +0.25 %, or Verizon Fios VZ, +1.30% has a higher consumer rating than one star on advocacy organization ConsumerAffairs.com.

I am one such disgruntled consumer. Despite countless calls to my provider and empty threats to switch services, the Wi-Fi in my apartment still just doesn’t work well. Hapless support staff members have suggested everything from unplugging my microwave (presumably to decrease signal interference) to reset the connection dozens of times, but in the end, I was told it is likely my internet will just never work at full capacity.

It seems impossible that consumers should be expected to pay for a poorly functioning service, but according to experts there are a number of reasons Wi-Fi can be slow — and with apartment crowding and other issues with signal interference, there is often very little most internet service providers can do to help. Here are some of the actions consumers can take on their end to speed things up.